Friday, December 9, 2011

Giants: DB-field

Because of all the injuries that the Giants have sustained in the DB-field this year, the healthy players they have are really being tested. Giants have lost 6 DBs for the season, including 2 that were near the top of the depth chart and the others that would have been decent cover guys and acceptable substitutes. No use complaining - every team has injuries. It's just that when they all come in one unit, it makes it hard to cover up. That's why, when Amukamara was out of the game last week, Will Blackmon, who was signed two weeks before primarily as a ST player was pressed into service as a CB.

The question arises - how will the Giants manage this week against the Cowboys with their wealth of outside receivers and their TE Witten in the middle. Phillips is likely out at S, you can't expect Grant and Rolle to take every snap at the position, they might need a rest at some point in the game. That means that rookie Tyler Sash will have to make his way onto the field and will have to be productive. Grant himself has definitely slowed down and while Sash seems like a tough hitter and a smart player, he did not impress me with his foot speed the few times I saw him in a game this year. Maybe with more confidence and knowledge of the game he will play a little faster and looser, but with Grant and Sash on the field, I would attack the middle of the field if I were the Cowboys. Therefore, for the Giants defense to have a hope, they need a big game from their safeties including Sash and need the LBs to play well on pass defense in the middle. The fastest Giants LBs and the ones best playing in space are Boley and Williams, so Giants will need a big game from them. Of course, there is another approach for the Giants defense and that is, instead of playing safe, trying to cover and giving a cushion so they don't get beat deep, they could  instead throw caution to the wind and be very aggressive with pressure and blitz packages. I would do a little of both, especially with what has been said in the papers today. Fewell and S Grant were both quoted as saying that they have to scale back the 3rd down package because of limited coverage capability on the back end. But maybe this was a smoke screen to float misinformation to the Cowboys. Last week against the Packers, Fewell said that he has to come hard after Rodgers, implying that the Giants would blitz a lot. In fact, they did not blitz much and relied on pressure from their front 4 to get it done. Maybe the same is true this week - they said they would scale back the 3rd down package, maybe instead they come out with guns blazing (that was a Cowboy reference).

The mantra is easy this week: efficient offense, no turnovers. On defense limit the big plays so Cowboys have to make lots of successful plays for each score and get to Romo. Corey Webster has to handle Dez Bryant, Ross is a good match up for Austin and the S position has to give good cover on deep balls, especially helping Ross.

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